It was my friend Bharu and her mom's long pending birthday treat yesterday.I was excited when they told me they are taking me to Anise at the Taj. I had heard so much about it and had wished to attack the buffet atleast once.
I was dressed to kill if I may say so. In the end, it was the fabulous desserts at Anise that killed me. We were tempted with some spicy succulent paneer, pappadams, and pizza slices straight from the oven.
The buffet spread had a little of everything and not too much of anything. However, each item in the buffet was cooked to perfection.
Highlights were the tantalizing hummus, a brilliant karuvepillai-poondu kozhambu, mango brulee, tomato with corn and cheese, vegetables baked in white sauce, and spicy paneer. The fresh juice combination of pineapple and ginger was a big hit with the crowd. The freshness of the ginger hits your palate and energizes you completely. This will surely be a recipe for me to try out and upload on my food blog! I also had the spicy orange shot, which I believe had cayenne pepper. However, the strawberry shot was disappointing. In the end, ginger-pineapple ruled the floor.
We noticed that each of us had missed out one item or the other on the buffet and were puzzled. It did not take us much time to realize that the buffet was not strategically designed. Rather, not much thought was put into intuitively organizing the menu. Personally, I would have preferred a wide variety of starters to keep the appetite up and maybe, a more colorful main course. The different dips that accompanied the salad had no names, so no one knew what they were in for. That was a bit of an adventure, but no complaints there. You just tread carefully and take your chances!
Most importantly, the staff should have clearly set the vegetarian course away from the non-vegetarian menu including desserts. I noticed some guests crinkling their nose when they had to reach for a vegetarian course by walking past the seafood menu. To add to this, I had unwittingly placed a non-vegetarian dessert on my plate and had Bharu not pointed it out, I would had a disastrous luncheon to remember.
The service could have certainly been much better. My friend had to remind the waiter to get hot water a few dozen times.
Overall, it was a pleasant lunch. I had mastered the art of ordering right, so you can savour your meal and have pleasant memories for the rest of the ride. More than anything else, it is the company you keep that makes everything fun and beautiful.
So not surprisingly, we plan to go back again and have the special buffet with champagne.